There are many maritime workers who accept the risks of the industry as “part of the job.” However, that is not the right way to view the situation. Maritime hearing loss lawyers help to reduce or prevent these types of issues from occurring.
If an explosion occurred on a ship, which led to a hearing injury, there are several ways the employer or owner of the ship can be determined liable. The best way to know for sure is to review the text we prepared for you about maritime law and contact us for clarification if you have additional questions.
While hearing loss can occur after an explosion, it may also occur after a person is exposed to extreme conditions, after a blow to the head, or being exposed to ongoing sound without proper ear protection.
If the employer has failed to take the proper safety precautions to prevent these situations (the Jones Act) they may be deemed liable.
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What Is the Jones Act, and How Can a Lawyer Help Me File a Claim?
Before the Jones Act was enacted, sailors and seamen had limited avenues of recourse for injuries sustained at sea. In response to national concern about the health of sailors and crew members, the Jones Act expanded on existing protective clauses under maritime law.
Under the Jones Act, seamen are entitled to immediate medical treatment as a result of injury or disease, regardless of fault. Relief and benefits under the Jones Act are available to any seamen who spend at least 30% of their time aboard a Merchant Marine vessel.
Workers are permitted to file a claim against a negligent employer or the vessel’s owner alleging that the vessel was not seaworthy.
Today Jones Act provides a cause of action in negligence for “any seaman” injured “in the course of his employment,” so long as the vessel was in navigation at the time of injury.
Claims filed under the Jones Act must be brought within a certain amount of time after the injury, and the injured party must prove that the other party was at fault for the injury. Compensation for both, past and future economic and non-economic losses, may be recovered as a result of the vessel’s unseaworthiness.
Continue Reading: All About Workers’ Compensation >
Maritime Hearing Loss Lawyers – Definitions of Negligence and Unseaworthiness
Under general maritime law, a vessel owner has an absolute duty to provide a seaworthy vessel to its crew members. The shipowner is responsible for a vessel’s unseaworthiness regardless of negligence. A company or employer must ensure that the work environment is safe.
Continue Reading: Hearing Protection At Work >
- The employer does not provide quality gear, protective clothing, or the right equipment for the job.
- The employer fails to hire enough employees or provide proper training.
- The ship or its equipment is not properly maintained.
- Weather is unsafe, yet work carried on anyway.
- Safety measures are not followed.
- Decks, passageways, and gangways are not properly maintained.
- Lines, wires, and cables are loose or not stored properly.
- Emergency and lifeboats response gear malfunctions.
- The vessel does not have an adequate crew.
- Defective hulls, bulkheads, and rails.
- Extreme work methods.
Maritime Hearing Loss Lawyers – Workers Compensation
If you work in a maritime environment, you’re probably working around equipment that can cause hearing loss damage. What happens around this heavy equipment is the noise is so loud that it actually damages your hearing over time.
If you’ve worked for years in the past offshore or on vessels, chances are you were exposed to loud noise from this type of equipment, for example, if you work on an oil rig, you’re going to work on the rig floor which is extremely loud.
People working on the rig floor for years at a time are likely to have suffered some type of hearing loss. If you’re on a vessel, you may be in the engine room or you may be working around generators. if you’re working in those areas, you could have suffered hearing loss because of that loud equipment.
Regular traffic is about 85 decibels. If you’re working on an oil rig or on a vessel, chances are you’re around equipment that is a lot louder than regular traffic and the experts will tell you, that noise levels at about 85 decibels can start to cause damage to your hearing.
Seamen are entitled to medication and cure under the Jones Act. An injured seaman might also be able to obtain compensation for lost wages, medical bills, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and diminished quality of life.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury as a seaman, we urge you to contact our experienced attorney right away. Maritime hearing loss lawyers will make sure you and your loved ones get the justice and compensation you deserve.